Betting Special: Where next for Jermain Defoe?

The Spurs striker has spent much of his career sitting on the subs bench, and at almost 30, first-team football must be a priority. Al Hain-Cole weighs up his options for a move
Jermain Defoe must be sick of the sight of the substitutes' bench, having spent most of the last year watching from the sidelines for both club and country.

The Tottenham striker started just 11 games for his club last season, whilst his Euro 2012 campaign consisted of a frustrating 15 minute run-out against France.

With his feet getting itchier by the day, it is no surprise to see the striker being linked with a move away from White Hart Lane, and there will be no shortage of interest in a man who has notched 195 goals in 470 career matches.

Jermain Defoe's next club

Odds courtesy of William Hill
Reading 6/4
QPR 9/2
Aston Villa 7/1
Liverpool 8/1
West Ham 8/1
Fulham 12/1
Heading the queue are newly-promoted Reading, who are keen to use their newfound Russian investment to add some Premier League quality to the team which won the Championship title last year.

The Royals are clear 6/4 (2.50) favourites to clinch Defoe's signature, thanks perhaps to director of football Nick Hammond's good relationship with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. The original price of 10/1 has been snapped up by savvy punters but this could still hold some value.

Next in line are QPR, who have been busy improving a squad which narrowly avoided relegation last season, and have shown that they are not afraid to splash out on wages by signing fellow England international Rob Green.

You can get odds of 9/2 (5.50) on Defoe running out for Mark Hughes' side next season.

Aston Villa are also in the market for a striker, as Emile Heskey's departure has left new manager Paul Lambert with just Darren Bent and Gabby Agbonlahor to choose from.

After failing to prise Grant Holt away from his old club, Lambert may have more luck luring Defoe to Villa Park, at odds of 7/1 (8.00).

Liverpool's lack of cutting edge probably cost Kenny Dalglish his job last season, so his replacement Brendan Rodgers may decide that the clinical Defoe is just what he needs, with the odds of him moving to Anfield currently at 8/1 (9.00).

West Ham fans may not have the fondest memories of their old boy after he left them in controversial circumstances eight years ago, but the temptation of first-team football would represent a significant draw for a player who turns 30 in October, making odds of 8/1 (9.00) on a return to Upton Park rather attractive.

The striker might also like to reunite with old boss Martin Jol at Fulham, and the extra appeal of staying in London makes perfect sense at 12/1 (13.00).

Realistically though, the prospect of dropping down the league with Stoke 16/1 (17.00), Norwich 20/1 (21.00) or West Brom 33/1 (34.00) could be enough for Defoe to reconsider leaving north London at all, and a chat with new boss Andre Villas-Boas may be in order before any decisions are made.

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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